We've received this question on the Forums: how do you perform TRX exercises that place an impact on the wrist if you have a wrist injury or pain? Here to answer the question is TRX Director of Sports Medicine, Brian Bettendorf. This is a relatively common speed-bump people encounter when getting into TRX Training, especially while planking, performing a TRX Push-up or any movement that requires wrist extension.
As Brian points out, there are two likely causes for this. The first, and easier to solve for, is when the wrist joint becomes overloaded because the fingers, hands and forearms are not being engaged to evenly distribute the tension. If this is the case, try splaying the fingers out and actively trying to grip the ground, like your fingers are the roots of a tree. This creates a more stable base and turns on the forearms so all of your upper bodyweight is not focused directly on the wrist joint. This on its own may decrease discomfort. If not, you could also try rotating the fingers in or out, changing the wrist’s position to unload it.
The second cause is usually brought on by a lack of mobility in the wrist joint, so extending the wrist all the way back becomes painful. Brian recommends elevating the palms with a towel. The wrist joint is no longer fully extended. However, it will now be able to painlessly bear the load of the exercise. If this doesn’t work, try performing the exercise on top of dumbbells so that the wrist is in a vertical, neutral position. This way, there is no pressure directly on the wrist joint.
If none of these work for you, the best option may be to avoid putting pressure on the wrist altogether and performing your planks from a forearm position or unloading the exercise a bit by modifying it to a static TRX Chest Press. Of course, if none of these solutions are offering you any salvation, it’s probably a good time to go see a doctor.
Anything causing you discomfort while training? Tell us below, and we'll try to find a solution for you.